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A sovereign of the shadows

The European Beech, in German also called the “red beech” because of its reddish-white timber, is extremely assertive.

It combines high growth performance with the ability to tolerate shade. Where it grows tall and forms a shady canopy, other tree species can only exist in the shadows. And only those species that are adapted to an existence in subdued light live in plant communities with the beech.

After the cold season, many ground cover plants in the beech forest have to seize the short time until the beech canopy unfolds its foliage. After all, it is only in March and April that enough light penetrates to the forest floor in the beech's shaded footprint. When the dense canopy closes in the beech forests in late spring, there will be barely a ray of light that reaches the ground. Now the beech reigns over the shadows. So it is generally beech, again, which grows beneath the canopy of a large beech.

World Heritage Grumsin © Tilo Geisel